Following the Grapes


The wine route is proving to be very easy and excellent scenery. I came across a Lidl supermarket in the middle of nowhere. I stocked up on provisions I bought a ham and cheese sandwich which was extremely dry, a tin of casserole for my tea and some cereal bars, which I could have for breakfast with my coffee. I headed in the direction of Colmar which was a bit off my route but had amazing cycle paths. The majority of these cycle paths where on a meridian running along the main roads protected by trees. I found the road to Wettolsheim and got back on the Eurovelo 5 heading towards Equisheim, which turned out to be a tourist hotspot, there was a huge coach park full of vehicles and tourists were falling out of every building. All I could hear were American people chatting about how unusual the town was, Equisheim could easily have been one of the Epcot World Showcase attractions and most likely called Mediaeval Europe. I didn’t see any lederhosen but I would bet there was someone wearing it serving ice cream.


I cycle through Equisheim the wrong way on a cobbled street dodging tourists and saw the three châteaux high on a hill and ended up singing Rod Stewart songs in a vineyard to my GoPro, this video may or may not appear on YouTube. I pushed the bike up a very long steep hill heading to Husseren Les Chateau, I even stopped half way to eat my sandwich I had purchased earlier. When sat on the picnic bench you couldn’t see the spectacular views of miles and miles of vineyards, the mountain range, forests and the châteaux, just a bush on one side and a bin on the other. So I stood next to a tree at the entrance to the picnic site.

I continued to push uphill stopping occasionally to take photos of the vineyard, church and château’s, I also checked my map to discover that the wine route and the Eurovelo 5 go in different directions, the wine route went over the mountains, the Eurovelo 5 went around the mountains. I was on the wine route, not wanting to do a Hannibal I crossed over the road and free wheeled all the way back down, the views were worth the effort.


I got back on the Eurovelo 5 and continued to Rouffach where I saw a camping sign. It was a small municipal site opposite a football field and a school. A valley surrounded by hills and mountains, in the distance I could see typical Swiss architecture and some big church towers. The site was busy, mainly motorhomes but I managed to get a good spot, opposite me was a full row of motor homes with UK number plates. I got talking with a couple of guys who explained that they were all heading to Turkey. They were in Metz some three hours earlier were I was in Metz over a week ago.

During the night the wind picked up, I could hear the trees rustling which woke me up a few times. I was warm and comfy but didn’t sleep well because of the noise. I imagined if I left the tent to go to the shower block it would have blown away. I eventually  got up when I heard the sound of the church bells. It was overcast and still windy not the best weather for cycling. I freshened up and made a coffee, I was tempted to stay another night but would have no food, so I packed up slowly and hoped the weather changed.

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About John Holt

John Holt has worked in the travel industry for over 14 years and comes highly recommended by Trip Advisor for his practical and candid talks on travel destinations. Spending 18 months as a "Local Interest Specialist" for a leading tour operator John has become known as having more practical information than Google.

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